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Ball State & Miami by the Numbers

BSU vs. NIU:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU Miami
Scoring Offense 31st (35.4) 95th (23.3)
Rushing Offense 22nd (213.2) 120th (85.1)
Passing Offense  40th (268) 21st (306) 
Total Offense 18th (481.2) 78th (391.1)
Scoring Defense  94th (32.2) 107th (35.3)
Rushing Defense  112th (215.2) 123rd (242.5)
Passing Defense  92nd (257.2) 90th (253.6)
Total Defense  111th (472.4) 114th (477.2)
Sacks 84th (18) 109th (13)
Sacks Allowed 10th (8)  113th (35)
Turnover Margin  76th (-3) 86th (-4)
3rd Down Conv. %  21st (47.5%) 73rd (39.1%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 80th (42.0%)  109th (46.6%)
Red Zone Conv. %  37th (85%) 105th (73.8%
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 75th (83.3%)  41st (79.3%)
Punting  71st (40.5) 67th (40.9)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 44th (47.3) 20th (38.7) 

You would think with a 12-5 advantage in the statistics above, there would be little if any reason for concern. However, two of those stats are directly related. Miami’s 300+ yards per game passing seem tailor made for the 257.2 that the BSU defense gives up per game. On the flip side of the coin, Miami’s passing defense is better by just a smidge and the BSU offense isn’t all that far behind. In other words, bet the over as this isn’t going to be a three yards and a cloud of dust field goal contest. It has the makings of MACtion at its finest. Alabama-LSU this is not.

If the BSU defense can do a serviceable job holding Miami to red zone field goals rather than touchdowns then this one shouldn’t be close. The categories that Miami leads in above are negligible save for that opponent red zone number, and the BSU advantages are significant. This strikes me as one of those games where what will keep Ball State from winning is Ball State. Even with Keith Wenning, Jamill Smith, and Jordan Hansel out on the offensive side of the ball, this seems like the perfect time to uncork a big rushing day from the BSU backfield. I’m sure Miami notices this too, though, and there’s the rub.

On paper, even at less than full strength, BSU has a clear cut advantage, but I would reckon this one will be a bit closer than folks think.

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